campaign finance

What Comes Next

Thomas Mann of the Brookings Institute was a champion of the McCain-Feingold reforms, and his analysis helped get the law passed. Now, as he explains in an interview with Abby Rapoport at The American Prospect, he is leaning more towards what can be done with public financing of campaigns, both fixing the presidential system and creating a Congressional system.

From the interview:

Back for More

Research done by Public Campaign Action Fund's Campaign Money Watch project has revealed that though the candidates in this year's presidential race may be different than in years past, the big donors sure aren't -- at least when it comes to the migration of President Bush's best bundlers to the donor rolls of Sen. John McCain's campaign.

Money Coming In

We all know that candidates for the Presidency and Congress alike are making the calls to the small, elite group of donors known for writing four-figure checks in election years. But other major avenues for political money are the independent 527 groups who can raise an unlimited amount of money and spend it at will, provided they follow requirements to disclose the source of that money.

Campaign Finance Reform and the Single Girl

No one ever accused the campaign finance reform movement of being long on sizzle and short on substance, but there's one former fundraising heavyweight who's seen the political money machine from the inside and is aiming to infuse the popular perception of dialing for dollars with a little sex appeal.

Bagging the Bundlers

In these campaign contribution-limited times, the big-money bundlers to the presidential campaigns are worth their weight in gold (check or credit card also accepted). McCain, whose Bipartisan Campaign Finance Reform Act helped establish current federal campaign contribution limits, is out-raising Obama on the bundler front but neither man is exactly eschewing the practice that many have called a loophole for big donor influence.

 

Conventional Tactics

We've noted on several occasions the major loophole provided by Democratic and Republican conventions for corporations to flex their contribution muscles. Conventions don't fit under the guidelines that restrict corporate giving to candidates and parties, so the multi-million dollar events are a good opportunity for corporate interests to give generously - and reap the benefits.

Making a List, Checking it Twice

Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) values his reputation as a reformer and Sen. Barack Obama (D) has boasted about the transparency of his campaign but the New York Times is a little disappointed in both of their efforts on the donor/bundler disclosure front. After a nudge from the paper the Obama campaign updated its publicly available list of bundlers but should they need hounding from the press?

Oh, We're Dead. You Hadn't Heard?

I had no more than a passing relationship with science classes in college but I stuck around long enough to absorb the following: "the plural of anecdote is not data." I don't want to come down too hard on Jim Mills at The Hill, but I think he'd do well to refer to this little aphorism before he picks up his hammer again to drive a stake into the heart of campaign finance reform.

Million Reasons Why Not

The editorial boards the Washington Post and the New York Times are none too pleased with the Supreme Court ruling against the Millionaire's Amendment provision in BCRA that provided rescue funds to candidates facing wealthy, self-financing opponents. Read on for excerpts from the editorials.

From the Post:

Filling With Hot Water

Public Campaign Action Fund's David Donnelly has articles in the Huffington Post and the Minneapolis Star Tribune discussing John McCain's lobbyist woes, an the reignited controversy over McCain's involvement in the awarding of a lucrative Air Force contract to European-owned Airbus over Boeing.